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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, Sorry long post:

2001 F250 7.3 Auto 4X4. Hutch mod (No filters in pick up) filter inline right before fuel pump.

Sunday night lower Michigan got down to -11. They were calling for extreme cold on Sunday night. I filled up Friday morning and put in some white bottle Power Service. Only put 50 miles on the truck during the weekend. Ran great!! So, Monday AM comes, it is -11. Truck fires right up. I let it sit for awhile and go into high idle 747 mating call noise. Take off nice and slow and take it easy. Hit the main road and pull out. Though it took a little more peddle than it should of. Turn the radio down and it is cackling a bit. Let up on the peddle and the cackle goes away. I think at this point I am gelling. So, I turn around to go home. And things getting worst. So, I pull over and poor in my Power Service 911. Let truck idle a bit, sounds fine. Pull truck forward and back a bit, help mix the 911 into the tank. I get it home and it is still not right. The fuel pump is making a lot of noise. While driving you can hear the fuel pump. Hit the gas and let off. When the truck goes back to idle the fuel pump sounds like it is slowly loading. Or building pressure. If you have ever listened to the fuel pump after changing a fuel filter, just like that. Turn truck off and hop in the car to get to work.

After work fuel pump still very noisy, but truck fires right up and idles fine. Drives fine on my back roads but when I get on it, I know it cackles more than it should. So, pull back into drive way. Don’t want to take it out on main roads! Let sit at high idle for about 15 minutes. Turn truck off, re-key just to listen to fuel pump, still way to noisy.

So. With the power service white bottle and the 911 I am thinking this is not gelling. Could I have some water in the tank, now ice, blocking pick up? My pre-filter before the fuel pump looks like yellow diesel fuel. The pre-filter is see through. If there were ice in there, I might see it??? Or, could I be looking at a bad fuel pump? Just a dumb luck it went bad with the cold weather?

I am going to pull it into the garage in a bit and turn the furnace on. Will let it sit in the garage at 70 deg. For a few hours and see what happens.

Any one have any thoughts / advice?

Thanks!
 

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You could be getting an air leak in the line. Air in the fuel is what causes cackle. Cavitation of the fuel pump can be caused by restriction of fuel flow from a clogged pre filter. What micron is you pump prefilter?
DENNY
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Update:

I pulled it into my garage and let it sit in there at 70 degs for about three hours. Hit the key and pump sounded normal!!!! Took it out for a drive and it runs great again!

DENNY

I do not remember what the filter is. But it looks course. The return screen in the main filter is much finer. The pre-filter came with the kit I ordered to remove the mixer assembly from the fuel tank. It is one of the type you can clean. I installed it back in 2002ish. I bought the truck new in late 2000. It has 240K on the clock.

Now, I have been driving this truck since late 2000. I have had it gel 3 times. Including this time. Previous times. The power service 911 would only take about a minute before the truck would run normal again. But I do not remember how full the tank was the first times. This time it was full. I have been buying my fuel from the same station for the last 12 years! If I know it is going to get cold, I add the white bottle Power Service. Next time they predict super cold weather I think I am going to keep the tank lower. Maybe easier for the warm fuel returning to warm it up?

What more could one do to prevent gel / ice?

We have had warmer than normal winter in lower Michigan this year. Wonder if they have been just getting lazy adding the “Additives” to the fuel. Went from the coldest we would see was high teens. Then BAM -11. Bet I got a good fill of un-treated fuel. Lucky me.

Again, What more could one do to prevent gel /ice?
 

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The local fuel should be blended for the predicted temps, however, if the station does not have a high fuel turn over that would effect it or it was just not properly blended. If it is a common problem I would just bite the bullet and treat every tank in the winter. Once the wax in the fuel drops out of solution it takes a bit to get it back in. If you can get the truck in a warm shop until all the truck and fuel are up to 70 degrees that should do the job, but I would change the post pump filter. Did you by chance look at the filter on the engine?
DENNY
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I chickened out and drove my car again today. It went to 0 to low single digits last night. If there were some water floating around in the system was afraid it would re-freeze. Weds it is going to be 40 degs. I will drive it then. And hopefully the Power Service White bottle / 911 combo that is in the tank will do its job. Back down to the low single digits to below zero by the weekend. I did not look at the main filter. But I did drain it into a glass jar. Let it warm up. Fuel was clear with no hint of water.

Can you put too much Power service “white bottle” in? The instructions on the white bottle said it was good for 100 gallons. I put in half the bottle when I filled up. So for 38 gallons that should have been more than enough. Or are they assuming the fuel has been somewhat treated? After the fact I put the rest of the bottle in. So my tank now has a 32 ounce bottle of white AND 911 in it.

It has been 12 years since I had this problem. Thought I had a good system down. I read that kerosene is a fool proof method. But I am worried about damage to my injectors due to lack of lube. With predicted below zero temps in the forecast one can see why I am paranoid now.

I drove it about a half hour last night, and took it on the e-way. Ran great! So I eliminated the possibility of a bad fuel pump at least.
On the way home from work there was a few semi and pick-ups on the side of the road. So it look like I was not the only victim.
 

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My fuel filter does not let water get through. Just like a contractors fuel pump on the back of there trucks, the water filter gets plugged with water. You can't see it, but pressure goes way down, and you can hear the pump struggling. Change it out, pump works again, pressure back up. Most the time it looks new cause you can't see the water plugging it. I change the truck one quite regularly since diesel fuel retains so much water under all conditions. Loud pump is not good, means motor is on its way out. If it were a good motor on the starter, if plugged, it would actually get quieter as it loads. Being transparent like you say, you would know if it were sucking air. If there is water in the tank, it can freeze and block you intake since you have the mod and no 1/4 tank valve, but its highly unlikely with your additives and the winter fuel itself. Gets cold here too, I have never gelled up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well same thing happens to me going home from work today. Sat in open parking lot -6 all day. Not plugged in. Started right up. Motor maybe made three revolutions. Oil pumps howl like crazy but it runs, 5W40. Go back into work and let it warm up about fifteen minutes. Pull out of work and ¼ mile starts to lose power. Pull into a parking lot and poor in a bottle of 911. Have about 20 gal in the tank. Let truck run for about fifteen minutes. Big lot so I just idle around with truck in drive. And that was all it needed. Ran great for the 20-mile drive home. This is the same tank from my first post plus 7 gallons.

So, gel, ice or fuel pump. I blindly changed my fuel pump when I hit 190K, has 230K now. It was starting to get noisy. This pump is still nice and quiet, except when I have this problem. If I had a weak pump would 911 help it?
Tonight -15, going to plug it in. Thinking of just driving the car tomorrow though. ☹
 

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Just a FYI plugging it in won't help if it is gelling.

The gelling will be in the tank and fuel lines. The block heater only helps with the cold starts. It may be too late for you to check but pull the fuel filter and take a look at it and see if it has a wax build up on it. If it does it just might be your fuel.

Diesel 911 will help with gelled fuel and do nothing for the fuel pump except allow it to pump the fuel to the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Diesel 911 will help with gelled fuel and do nothing for the fuel pump except allow it to pump the fuel to the engine.
Thanks! Looks like I am going to have to fill up at a different station in the winter. I asked the cashier "How cold is your diesel treated for?" all I got was a blank look.

What keeps biting at me is I have not had a gel problem in 12 years. I have always used the PS white bottle. Thought I had a system down. Say the station filled there tanks with #2, then failed to add anti gel. Would a normal dose of PS white bottle be enough for -10 or below?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
FYI: -14 all night. Truck sat outside plugged in. Ran great for the drive into work! Only change was the addition of the 911 to the tank the day before.
 

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There isn't a station out there that could answer any questions about the fuel in their tanks. All they have to do with it is to take your money. Any additive it put in by the distributor at the bulk tanks and 99% of all the stations get their fuel from the same bulk delivery folks.

If you want to see what your fuel will do, get a sample of it and put it into a clear jar and then put it into your freezer and watch it to see what it will do.
 

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Thanks! Looks like I am going to have to fill up at a different station in the winter. I asked the cashier "How cold is your diesel treated for?" all I got was a blank look.

What keeps biting at me is I have not had a gel problem in 12 years. I have always used the PS white bottle. Thought I had a system down. Say the station filled there tanks with #2, then failed to add anti gel. Would a normal dose of PS white bottle be enough for -10 or below?
Ask around until you find a cashier who knows how cold their diesel was treated for, then stick with that station. If you can't find one who knows how cold their diesel was treated for, then you may be stuck with using the fuel treatment.
 

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9-1-1 removes water. That is its entire chemical function.

Although your symptoms are similar to gelling, I do not think you were gelling. Your regional diesel distribution facility would have already planned for frigid temps and combined with the white PS bottle and 9-1-1, it is very unlikely you had gelling. (Assuming you followed proper mixing instructions and did not have alot of summer fuel left in the tank).

Have you drained your fuel bowl into a clear jar and looked for water?
 

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There isn't a station out there that could answer any questions about the fuel in their tanks. All they have to do with it is to take your money. Any additive it put in by the distributor at the bulk tanks and 99% of all the stations get their fuel from the same bulk delivery folks.

If you want to see what your fuel will do, get a sample of it and put it into a clear jar and then put it into your freezer and watch it to see what it will do.
Agreed.
Service station attendants can tell you what their soda prices are but not fuel treatments.

As suggested, fill a clear glass jar with a bit of fuel at fill up and set outside your home away from direct sun. Watch if it gels.

My guess is it won’t.

Gelling issues are largely a thing of the past as long as you buy fresh fuel from a local station.
 

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Diesel 911 will help with gelled fuel and do nothing for the fuel pump except allow it to pump the fuel to the engine.
What keeps biting at me is I have not had a gel problem in 12 years. I have always used the PS white bottle. Thought I had a system down. Say the station filled there tanks with #2, then failed to add anti gel. Would a normal dose of PS white bottle be enough for -10 or below?
All stations use #2 with additives today. The old practice of blending in #1 is no longer common except for maybe a few old school stations in ND and Northern WI but even there it is more likely they simply have #1 pump next to #2 and let the consumer mix his own blend.

#2 fuel is constantly treated for various cold temps. This is done at the refining stage when choice of base stocks are chosen and then again when chemists test the finished raw diesel to determine how much additive is required for anticipated weather conditions.

Additives are expensive so the goal of the bulk supplier is to add just enough to meet weather conditions while keeping their price as low as possible to the resaler.

Adding PS white bottle to a winter blend #2 should be sufficient for -10*F.

The 9-1-1 is purely alcohol designed to remove water in fuel. It is discouraged to use 9-1-1 on a frequent basis because alcohol is not good on injectors. Follow directions on container exactly.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
After the first time this happen, after I warmed the truckin the garage, I did drain the filter. I did not open and inspect the filter though. I drained the fuel into a clear jar. I did not see any water in the bottom of the jar. Yesterday morning when it was -14 I did have a look at the fuel in the jar. Did not think much of it at the time. But when I got home it was +4 out. The fuel in the jar was clear! There was still a blob of cloudy fuel in the center of the jar. But once I disturbed the jar it got mixed up. I was very shocked to see just how clear the fuel had become. I did not payattention to the cloudiness of the fuel after I drained it. I only looked for H2O beads resting on the bottom. This fuel was treated with ~16oz of powerservice white. That should have been good enough for 50 gallons, per instructions. Pulse it had 32oz of 911 in it as well. It should not be cloudy at -14 with white and 911 should it? So I just got a bad batch of fuel I am thinking now. It is going to be in the +40s this weekend. Going to run this tank as far down as I dare. Then fill up at a different station.
Michigan was having anunusually warm winter up to this point. We went from the 30/40s with low of 18s to -11 in a three day period. Then down to -17, that was the lowest I saw anyhow.Wends we had a high of -6. On the way home from work I counted 5 semi on the side of the freeway.
 

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When did you add the Powerservice? Once the wax starts to drop out of solution you usually have to warm the fuel for it to go back into solution. The 911 instructions for gelled fuel is to fill the filter bowl 1/2 full with 911, I suspect at that strength it would help unclog the filter.
DENNY
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I added half 32oz bottle of white, right before I filled up. I added the 911 on the side of the road, parking lot, full 32oz bottle to the full tank. I did not add any to the filter because I did not want to shut the truck off. Also it was 5:30am and dark and -11. All I was asking it at that point was to get me the 1 mile drive home. And it did do that at least. Right before I added the 911 she was idling VERY rough. And every time I touched the throttle it made thing worst! It improved the problem enough I was able to limp it home. And at light throttle positions ran/sounded fine. Only heavy throttle would make it stumble/cakle.


Later that night I pulled it into the garage and turned the heater on to 70 deg. A few hours later took it out for a drive. Ran great. Took my fuel sample from the fuel filter. Looked for water. No water could be seen. I then added the remaining bottle of white PS. Drove for a few days. Added 7 gallons of fuel and about 1/4 bottle of white PS. Gelled again and added another 32oz of 911, Was just a tad under 1/2 tank. Only took about 15 minutes and truck was drivable again. Only have about 1/8 tank now. Going to run down as far as I dare and fill back up at different station.
 

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Your description of the fuel drained from the fuel bowl as being “cloudy” is very helpful.

I think I was wrong to dismiss the probability of gelling. What you describe does sound like wax formations in the diesel fuel.

You were very lucky to have made it back to your garage but I think you made your own luck by being so alert to your truck and taking immediate action.

Thats a good idea to run this tank out and refuel with fresh diesel along with PS White Bottle.

As Denny suggested above, that 9-1-1 is designed to go directly into the fuel bowl at 50/50.

I wonder if other diesel owners had problems with that batch of fuel. Was it a name brand station?
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
It is a Sunoco. Has three semi slots with satellite nozzle on the other side. I liked filling up there because it is in a convenient location, right off the e-way. And they have the large nozzle pumps! Always a rig or two there. A garbage truck company, the big ones that lift the dumpster up and over, must have an account there. If I don’t get there by 5:45am there is a line up of them. Been filling up there for over 12 years. This was really the first problem I had. I am thinking I just got a "Monday" batch of fuel. And bad timing with this polar vortex.
 
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